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Friday, June 25, 2010

Where's Rob?

I've been getting a surprising amount of e-mail asking what's up with the lull. Fear not, I'll be actively posting again, but as I said in an earlier entry, I've been busy with other things. Perhaps I should add 'irregular' to the banner - might also increase my audience of readers with bowel problems when they Google for cures...

In case you wonder, I've been busy with:

1) Summer. My High School junior daughter is at Stanford doing research for the whole summer, cutting down our face time a lot. So any real spare time I have that matches her schedule, I'm there with her.

2) New games:
  • Just Cause 2 (micro-micro-review posted).
  • Sniper Ghost Warrior : So far, so not good. I had very high hopes. I'll do a micro review when I form a final opinion.
  • Portal Prelude; Very tough mod of Portal. Marred by inane dialogue, but some seriously hard and advanced portal use. If you have portal, check it out.
  • BFBC2, Splinter Cell Conviction, COD: MW2: Replaying these using three displays in ultra-wide screen mode via eyefinity. Pretty immersive.
3) The big time sinks:
  • Understanding Information Transmission (IEEE): A high-level overview of many facets of communication and information theory. Used as a textbook by many schools. Not super deep ( I own dozens that are seriously deep in my library of ~1500 technical books), but a good addition to my 'loaner' shelf - books I loan to interested friends that want to get a basic background and to stimulate them to pursue deeper studies. Hideously expensive at $65.00 for a slim paperback, but I've not seen a better overview to date.
  • Two volume set of  (The Tenseless)/(The Tensed) Theory of Time: A Critical Examination by W.L. Craig. Traipsing from Special Relativity to A/B-Theories of time, a philosophical work that demands hours of hard thinking for each page, to answer "What is time, is it even real...". Fun.
So, when I'm back, I'll publish the pending articles and some new ones. Thanks to the many that have suggested subjects - do continue to do so!


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

How long until OnLive is OnDeathRow then OnDead? A µ post.

The OnLive gaming service supposedly goes 'live' tomorrow. As I've said in the past, this is destined for an 'epic fail' in my opinion, perhaps to rise from its future ashes as an acquisition by a google, netflix, or some such ilk as a mechanism for streaming movies perhaps, and very simple games. As a medium for FPS games, it requires a leap of faith of Star Trek proportions to believe it will service serious FPS gamer's needs.

See the most interesting article Why OnLive Can't Possibly Work for a sane and reasoned critique.

Now, back to some real gaming...

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Just Cause 2. Get it.

The blogosphere has been quiet here: I've been busy with upcoming posts, hanging out with my daughter, and playing a new game. Just Cause 2 by Avalanche Studios, published by Square Enix / EIDOS.

Take Far Cry (the original, not the über lame second version) with the wisecracking Jack Carver mixed in with a little Antonio Bandares ala "Once Upon a Time in Mexico", throw in some Grand Theft Auto, and fold in some S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadow of Chernobyl missions, factions, and goodie finding.

All played out on a completely open (no loading when moving around the map) 400 square mile chain of islands navigable by foot, swimming, boats,cars, motorcycles, helicopters, commercial jets, fighter jets, private jets, tuk tuks, etc.

Those elements alone would make for a pretty good game, but when you add in a humor component that many times had me laughing so hard I died (in game) because I couldn't see the screen, and you've got a sure fire winner.

I won't even bother with any kind of micro-review, it wouldn't do justice to a game that is rapidly heading up my chart of personal favorites.

If you liked any of the games mentioned above, get this one. You won't regret it.